1MDB trial: MACC never asked Najib of 1MDB subsidiary owned by Jho Low's associate that transferred US$30m to his account, court told

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was never confronted by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the ownership of a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary belonging to Malaysian fugitive Low Taek Jho’s Malaysian associate which Najib ultimately received US$30 million from.

MACC Senior Superintendent Nur Aida Arifin said this while under cross-examination as the 49th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial over the misappropriation of 1MDB’s RM2.27 billion here.

Najib’s lawyer Wan Azwan Aiman had earlier put it to Nur Aida that MACC investigators did not present any documents pertaining to the ownership of Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, where US$30 million had trickled down from 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited’s US$1.64 billion before reaching Najib’s private AmIslamic bank account.

This, he said, took place during Najib’s interrogation into MACC’s investigation of 1MDB in 2018.

Based on banking documents, Blackstone’s beneficiary owner is Eric Tan Kim Loong — widely known as Low’s associate.

“Agreed,” she replied under cross-examination.

The prosecution on the first day of trial had described Tan as Low’s “shadow” and Low as Najib’s mirror image and alter ego.

Nur Aida had also agreed with Wan Azwan’s suggestion that Najib believed that Blackstone was owned by the late King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah.

Previously, the 47th prosecution witness Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan said the entire process in which RM2.27 billion from 1MDB was sent out and ultimately ended up in Najib’s two AmIslamic accounts could be identified as four phases, namely the “Good Star” phase, the “Aabar-BVI” phase, the “Tanore” phase and the “Options Buyback” phase.

In his testimony, Adam Ariff said the aforementioned US$30 million during the second ‘Aabar-BVI’ phase were transferred from Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners’s Standard Chartered Bank account in Singapore to “AmPrivate Banking-MR” between October 30 and November 20, 2012.

Imprisoned since August 23, 2022, Najib is serving a 12-year jail sentence for the misappropriation of SRC International’s RM42 million funds. This was recently reduced to six years of jail and a RM50 million fine, from the initial RM210 million, by the Pardons Board.

Najib’s 1MDB trial before trial judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes on April 30.